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The German culture minister said Friday that Mariette Rissenbeek, managing director of German Films, will become the executive director of the Berlin International Film Festival alongside newly named artistic director Carlo Chatrian, who is currently chief of the Locarno Film Festival. Chatrian and Rissenbeek will start their new posts as co-chiefs of the Berlinale in 2020.

In a statement, culture minister Monika Grütters said: “With our two new directors, we will make sure that the Berlinale will continue beyond 2019 – the last year under [current Berlinale chief] Dieter Kosslick’s direction – to be an audience-oriented festival with a political focus and an ambitious film program, while continuing to evolve.”

Grütters said that, with Rissenbeek and Chatrian at the helm, the Berlinale’s leadership will be “younger, more international and open to experimentation.” She added that Chatrian “also brings the artistic and curatorial skills that many experts and filmmakers had hoped for.”

Noting that Rissenbeek will be the first woman to lead the festival, Grütters said: “She also stands for continuity and film management competence. She knows all the various film festivals and the German players and has a wealth of experience and an extensive network of contacts.”

The culture minister thanked Kosslick for “his excellent work over the past 17 years,” stating that the Berlinale had “successfully maintained its position in the 21st century as an A-list film festival that is highly regarded internationally.”